The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Aqua Teen Hunger Force ads shut down Boston streets

Bomb?Boston police thought so and shut the city down for hours. (Cartoon Network)
Bomb?Boston police thought so and shut the city down for hours. (Cartoon Network)

An ad campaign for the cartoon “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” recently forced a bomb squad to shut down a major U.S. city. The ads consisted of magnetic lights strapped to billboards. Although this is not the most extreme case of unconventional advertisement, it caused the most heat and attention, which is what ads are supposed to do.

Ads are made to grab one’s attention. A good ad will make the viewer want to buy or watch the product more than anything will. A great ad will shut down a major U.S. city.

On Jan. 30, an ad campaign for the cartoon series “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” forced police bomb squads to shut down the city of Boston. Magnetic lights were placed on billboards and bridges to pose as characters from the TV show called “Mooninites.” If you ever played with a “Lite-Brite” when you were little, imagine when your little sister made a smiley face and you did what you could to make it obscene and you get the Mooninite ads that shut down Boston.

Though I am unaware of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” I am aware of sillier yet more feasible “unconventional marketing tactics” that have not incited such drastic responses as to shut down a major U.S. city.

Take for example. I do not condone cigarettes or the tobacco industry, but I feel like the antics of these people are worth shutting a major city down.

The commercial that sticks out the most to me isn’t the one where they supposedly dump bodies in the middle of Washington D.C., or the one in which an ice-womb melts out of a baby doll, but the one titled “Singing Cowpoke.”

You know, where there are cows meandering around the street and a bonfire lit on the sidewalk. All of this is happening on what seems like a busy street, in a city much similar to Boston. While the cowboy shindig seems happy and great, with cars stopped and people watching, out comes a cowboy who supposedly received a laryngectomy singing a song about “not singing worth a heck with a big whole in your neck” to scare kids out of smoking.

Where was the bomb squad – or at least the police – when this commercial was filming on a busy street?

Seems a hoedown in the middle of a busy street would at least gain some acknowledgement from the police. I’d rather see a flashing box of “Mooninites” than a singing cowboy in the middle of the road, equipped with cows, hay, and a guitar-playing deputy.

All of this considered, one must then ask if the point of the commercials is the reason why nobody cares about the “Singing Cowpoke.”

Nobody condones smoking, certainly. I consider the ad campaigns in the middle of the street harmless but educational. But I also consider cartoons harmless. I am just baffled by the lax treatment of the commercials and the harshness of the “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” ads.

But bombs are a serious matter. You can’t say bomb on a plane, and you certainly can’t throw something bomb-like, or something unconventional enough to look like it can pose a threat in a big city like Boston. Turner Broadcasting, which is the father channel of the Cartoon Network, the channel that airs “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” learned that the hard way.

The network released an apology on Feb. 2 commending the mayor of Boston, Attorney General Coakley, and the Boston Police Department and apologized for the confusion its “unconventional marketing campaign” caused.

But a salute is definitely deserved by the Boston Bomb Squad for dealing with the situation of a possible bomb threat with such persistence. I feel safe as an American. But a knock in the head should be given to whichever city the “Singing Cowpoke” took over. Hoedowns, for whatever cause, do not take place in the road.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *